EPA Unveils $775M for Clean Water Infrastructure

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 2023


At the end of last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced over $775 million from the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act to upgrade essential wastewater and stormwater systems.

“Too many communities across the country are facing challenges with water infrastructure—from climate impacts like drought vulnerability, to a lack of basic wastewater services that everyone deserves,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

“President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is getting unprecedented investments in clean water to communities that need them most. This funding paired with this historic funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support local economies while advancing projects in communities to help ensure clean, safe water for residents.”

Clean Water Funding

Regan reportedly announced the $775 million investment on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America tour in Clayton, North Carolina, with Congressman Wiley Nickel. The latest funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) builds on the $2.4 billion in bipartisan infrastructure law funding announced in February.

The CWSRF is a financial assistance program for a wide range of water infrastructure projects under the Clean Water Act, providing loans to eligible recipients to:

  • Construct municipal wastewater facilities;
  • Control nonpoint sources of pollution;
  • Build decentralized wastewater treatment systems;
  • Create green infrastructure projects;
  • Protect estuaries; and
  • Fund other water quality projects.

“Today's announcement by Administrator Regan and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will enable millions in federal funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to support priority water infrastructure projects and upgrades here in North Carolina and throughout the country,” said Representative Nickel.

“This transformational federal investment in America’s water infrastructure will create good-paying jobs, spur economic growth, and ensure our communities can access clean water.”

According to the EPA, the investment will provide significant resources for mitigating nonpoint source pollution and improving energy and water efficiency. It also addresses key challenges, including climate change and emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

A state-by-state allocation of 2023 funding can be found here.

Previous Funding

Earlier this year, the EPA also announced $2.4 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law for the Clean Water State Revolving Funding to upgrade water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. According to the EPA, nearly half of the funding will also go towards underserved communities while investing in both water infrastructure and jobs.

The CWSRF funding reportedly built on the initial allotment of $1.9 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law announced in May last year. The money is reportedly supporting hundreds of critical water infrastructure projects around the country.

Over the next several years, the bipartisan infrastructure law is making over $50 billion available for water and wastewater infrastructure to address key challenges, including climate change and emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

In addition to the announcement, the EPA reported that the 2023 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund allocations and program updates are anticipated in the coming weeks, pending completion of the seventh Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment.

A breakdown of funding allocation by state can be found here. To date, the EPA reports it has awarded over $4.7 billion to 48 states, territories and tribes.

Recent EPA Water News

Last month, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a proposal for the first-ever national drinking water standard for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The action builds on President Joe Biden’s plan to combat PFAS pollution, as well as the EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.

According to the announcement, the EPA is leveraging the latest science and complementing state efforts to limit PFAS by proposing to establish legally enforceable levels for six PFAS known to occur in drinking water.

The proposal, if finalized, would reportedly regulate PFOA and PFOS as individual contaminants, and will regulate four other PFAS—PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS and GenX Chemicals—as a mixture. Specifically, this would include:  

  • PFOA and PFOS: EPA is proposing to regulate PFOA and PFOS at a level they can be reliably measured at 4 parts per trillion.
  • PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and GenX Chemicals: EPA is also proposing a regulation to limit any mixture containing one or more of PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and/or GenX Chemicals. For these PFAS, water systems would use an established approach called a hazard index calculation, defined in the proposed rule, to determine if the combined levels of these PFAS pose a potential risk.

Additionally, the proposed regulation would require public water systems to monitor for these chemicals, as well as require systems to notify the public and reduce PFAS contamination if levels exceed the proposed regulatory standards.

The EPA says that it anticipates over time, the rule would prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses. PFAS can cause serious health problems, including cancer, if people are exposed to them over a long period of time.

The EPA is requesting input from all stakeholders, including the public, water system managers, and public health professionals. Comments may be submitted through the public docket, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114.

   

Tagged categories: Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); EPA; Funding; Government; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Stormwater; Water/Wastewater

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